Half a Europe Away – A special report for New Eastern Europe on German youth attitudes toward Eastern Europe by Mathew Shearman, Berlin-based editor of Europe & Me.
All along the horizon, Europe is changing in ever more manic fluctuations. Economists are fixated on the southern states, watching the crumbling fringes of the Eurozone in Greece; or looking for fresh signs of the breakup of the euro in Spain and Portugal. Young Germans have begun dealing with the realisation that Germany has returned to the focal point, and will be the largest European stakeholder for the foreseeable future. And looking East, to other states as young as themselves, young Germans are also trying to comprehend how the newer European states will influence the ever-changing dynamics of the European Union.
When Radosław Sikorski, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke in Berlin last November, he provocatively stated that he feared “German power less than German inactivity”. In doing so, he inverted the normal response to the perpetual “German question” of whether Germany remains an economic and political power. This radical departure from traditional Eastern European narratives was received with muted applause, followed by a continuing self-reflection on how the influences in European politics are changing.
Coming at a time where Germany and its young generation, in particular, are searching for a clear direction in Europe, Sikorski's belligerency over German engagement in Europe was not wholeheartedly welcomed
To read the full article: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/330